These animals were created out of recycled materials at the Circulation counter. Each one is made out of recycled receipts, “new” tape that gets taken off of books that are no longer new, and occasionally a paperclip or staple. Essentially, they’re all made of trash.
Originally, the project started off as a way to pass the time. I began by making simple flowers for a sick co-worker. But then I played around with making a tree. Then an owl. Then a whole flock of birds. And then BAM! All of a sudden (a few years later), there was a whole menagerie.
The Unintended Consequence
People began to like them. Kids began to love them. Some of the critters even “walked” away. I had unintentionally engaged the community and became not only an advocate for recycling, but also for the library (this realization would later lead to me decide to get my Masters in Library Science!).
Generally, I am a fan of multi-tasking, but never had I imagined how multi-functional these creations have become. First of all they’re art. Art made from found materials. Art made from found, recycled materials. Secondly, they take no longer than 20 minutes to make (admittedly, after some practice – here are some instructions) and are a great recycled craft for people of all ages. I’ve even taught a few class for teens, of which the only feed back I got was that the class, “wasn’t lame.” Teen translation: success. Lastly, people come to the library to see them and to see if any new ones have been made. While this all began as a way to pass the time, time has shown that they are, in fact, a way to engage the community and help the library be a little greener.
Sporadically throughout the month of September, in honor of National Library Card Sign-Up month, I’ll be holding some demonstrations in our newly renovated lobby.